Texas Instruments concludes school pilot and launches first regional training centre in Al-Kharj district
- Saudi Arabia: Thursday, January 31 - 2013 at 13:06
- PRESS RELEASE
Texas Instruments (TI) announced the results of a successful learning pilot in four selected schools in the Al-Kharj and Jeddah districts. Guests and dignitaries assembled at one of the boys' schools participating in the pilot to hear how teachers used TI-Nspire CX handhelds in the classroom to make mathematics and science more accessible and create a fun learning environment.
To meet interest in its TI-Nspire CX handhelds from other schools, Texas Instruments also announced today the opening of its first Regional Training Centre in the Middle East.
Its decision to locate this training centre in Al-Kharj underlines the importance of Saudi Arabia as a market that sets a leadership example to other countries in the Gulf.
Accepting the congratulations of Texas Instruments for his district's successful completion of the pilot, Mr. Saud Al Othman, General Manager of Al-Kharj education district, commented, "I'm delighted that a school in our district has had the opportunity to set a shining example to others. From talking to students and teachers alike, it seems the TI-Nspire has had an inspirational effect, creating more engagement and interaction with sophisticated mathematical concepts. On a broader scale, we're proud that Al-Kharj is setting a wider national example. With over 50% of the country's population under the age of 25, as well as Saudi Arabia's steady emergence as a knowledge-based economy, education is taking centre stage."
Also present at the event to mark the successful participation of the pilot were Mr Mohamed Ahmed Al Hammad, Prince Sultan Secondary school principal at Al-Kharj District, and Anton Hierhager, director of sales and marketing for Texas Instruments in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Guests had the opportunity to go back to the classroom and witness TI-Nspire Technology in action, as well as hear from teachers using it every day in their classrooms.
Guests also learnt about the benefits of education technology in the classroom. Effective use of TI-Navigator in teaching algebra has been shown to increase student achievement by an average of 14% (The Ohio State University). Teaching with graphing calculators has been shown to yield average learning gains in the range of 14% to 50% (Virginia Commonwealth University).
Anton Hierharger, director of sales and marketing for Texas Instruments in the region, added, "In the case of Al-Kharj district's pioneering participation in this pilot, we expect great trees to grow from small acorns. Helping students master difficult concepts will translate to a young population in Saudi Arabia that is better equipped for tomorrow's opportunities. We look forward to throwing open the doors of our first Regional Training Centre and welcoming teachers keen to use education technology to transform their students' futures."
In summarising the results of the pilot, Mr. Saud Al Othman, the Education District Manager, said, "Student and teacher feedback is positive, and we've already extended our use of TI-Nspire beyond the initial trial by purchasing new products. It helps us easily stay on track with our government curriculum goals, and I'm excited to see how it improves our overall performance in test scores. I congratulate our teachers and students for their willingness to experiment with new methods in order to improve the learning process."
Texas Instruments is globally known for listening and delivering in accordance with local educator needs. The pilot showed that the Kingdom's teachers were looking for professional development opportunities on the use of TI-Nspire Technology. As a result, Texas Instruments and the Al-Kharj school district have entered a public private partnership to open the Al-Kharj Training Centre for TI-Nspire Technology. The Centre is the first of its kind in the Kingdom and will provide the desired technology usage training to educators in the Al-Kharj district and also from other districts.
Texas Instruments has also listened to teacher and student feedback, which will lead to other localised solutions soon to be announced. Last but not least, Texas Instruments is building a local team to provide support for students and teachers adopting its products and services.
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